The latest Oracle Database update now provides a clear path of support for customers.
Oracle E-Business Suite customers stayed in limbo for some time concerning database upgrades. Until recently, the only supported database versions for EBS were all in extended support.
To help alleviate the pain, Oracle provides a waiver on the extended support fees for EBS customers through December 2020 (Doc ID 2522948.1). While it’s nice, there is no extra fee for EBS customers, and running a business-critical application on a database labeled Extended Support does not inspire a lot of confidence.
The lack of a Premier Support database for EBS also caused challenges from a planning perspective. It’s time EBS customers on an 11g database receive an upgrade. However, with 18.104.22.168 being the latest database version certified with EBS, an update meant moving to another extended support database with another upgrade likely soon. This process leaves EBS customers with a dilemma: upgrade to 12c and plan on another upgrade (thus doubling the work) or wait and miss out on any of the newer features of the more modern database version.
For the past several months, Oracle telegraphed 19c is the next database version certified with EBS (skipping database versions 12.2 and 18c). The only question was when. Before OpenWorld, Oracle made good on that promise and announced the certification: Database 19c (19.3) is now certified EBS 12.2 & 12.1.3.
It’s important to note there are a few caveats that go along with the current certification. One significant technical change is the EBS database must move to a CDB (container database) architecture with a single PDB (pluggable database). There are additional steps as part of the upgrade to move to a PDB. And, there is a small learning curve if the DBAs didn’t previously work in a multitenant environment. Another change is with 19c, and the utl_file_dir initialization parameter is no longer supported.
This change requires additional steps to migrate to database directories. A few related certifications are still pending (e.g., Data Guard), so Oracle recommends a thorough review of the technical architecture before performing an upgrade. There is good news. There is now a clear upgrade path for EBS customers to begin planning their upgrades.